1. #1
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    Mar 2003
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    Wilmington, Vt.
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    Question RED LIGHTS - The Hanging Ones !!!

    Just got through reading the NIOSH report about the engine that "went around" a crossing guard at a rail crossing "returning from an alarm" and resulted in a LODD. Needless to say I've reached my limit! Do we think that we are not only invincibile but, invisible?? I've been in the fire service for 33 years and yes, in the old days we blew through stop signs and red lights. My old Chief had a favorite phrase if vehicles were stopped in our direction of travel at a "red light" -
    "TAKE EM'!" Used to scare the heck out of me but, we took em! More times than I care to recall we were pinned up against the rear of the truck when the brakes locked up due to a car scooting under our front bumper! (yes, we rode the tail also back then) The other day I was in a neighboring city and observed two fire trucks, one police car, and two ambulances promptly proceed through 4 consecutive red lights without even slowing down. Noticed it again at an earlier date in another city except the engine that was screaming down main street was definitely going much too fast. This city has already had one fatality due to driving tactics when an engine did an "S" swerve through an intersection, lost control and plowed "Head-on" into a van that had stopped to allow passage for the truck.
    Things have changed guys and gals! The roadways are much, much more crowded today, people are less attentive, drivers are more aggressive, and the pace at which people drive is much quicker. We cannot keep blowing through intersections because we have a big red truck with lights and sirens!
    Our policy is, and has been for quite some time, "To come to a complete stop" at stop signs and red lights. I'll be honest and say that there are some stop signs that have very good visibility in all directions and we do "coast" through them.
    What policies does your dept. have for driving through intersections? I know here in Vermont we are covered by emergency vehicle laws which allow us the right to drive outside the regular traffic laws BUT, It must be done "With Due Regard". In other words, you can go through the red light but, if you have an accident it will more than likely be your fault because you were driving without "due regard".
    As another post has so wonderfully put it: "Always wear your seatbelts!" and I'll add: Stop at all stop signs and red lights. (This includes the ones that are meant for trains!!!!!!!!)

  2. #2
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    Dave1983's Avatar
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    No, I dont think we will ever "get it" when it comes to driving Just like not blocking the lane your working in, or shutting down the entire road when working at an MVC or other road incident
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  3. #3
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    nmfire's Avatar
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    Going through a controlled rail road crossing against the warning lights and/or gates is just plain stupid regardless of what you are driving and when.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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